The Uprising Roots
Tru Musik Records
CD / Digital Release
April 28, 2011

Skyfiya - The Uprising Roots Track list
  1. King Rastafari
  2. Blessings
  3. Skyfiya
  4. Brightest Light
  5. Steamers
  6. Know Yourself
  7. Most Royal
  8. Marcus Garvey
  9. Who Caan Hear
  10. Positive
  11. Shining So Bright
  12. Krash Like Lightening
  13. Brighter Days
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 6-
Very Good -Votes: 4-
Good -Votes: 1-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 11
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Even after the international success of Bob Marley & The Wailers in the 1970s, self-contained bands were a rarity in Jamaica. With the exception of the North Coast hotel circuit, the emphasis on the Island was on sound systems rather than live groups of any description, and the usual method of recording was for singers to voice-over pre-recorded riddim tracks built by studio musicians.

Albeit not that many, there still were a few self-contained bands that made a significant contribution to Jamaica's reggae history including The Gladiators, Inner Circle, Twinkle Brothers, and Third World. When producer King Jammy successfully initiated the use of digital instrumentation in 1985 and thus completely turned Jamaican music around, the interest in self-contained bands vanished completely. However, when artists such as Luciano, Anthony B, Sizzla and Buju Banton ignited the cultural movement in reggae music in the mid-90s, it also caused the emergence of Jamaican bands like Axx of Jahpostles, Mystic Revealers, the very successful Morgan Heritage, and Rootz Underground.

And now there's The Uprising Roots from Rockfort, East Kingston, Jamaica, which consists of Winston McAnuff's son Rashaun "Kush" McAnuff (drums/lead vocal), Ruel "Pot a Rice" Ashburn (bass/backing vocal), Lloyd "Akinsanya" Palmer ((dub poet/keyboard/backing vocal), Joseph "Junior Congo" Sutherland (percussion/backing vocal) and veteran Winston "Bopee" Bowen (guitar). Conceptualized on 1st January 2006, the band core members met by jamming together as musicians at the "Inna de Yard" sessions, known from the Makasound releases. Both Earl "Chinna" Smith, who introduced "Kush" McAnuff to "Pot a Rice" Ashburn, which gave birth to the drum & bass section of The Uprising Roots, and the late Sugar Minott, at whose Youth Promotion studio a lot of the early practice and rehearsals took place, were influential on the band.

After we had met "Kush" McAnuff at the annual Reggae Geel festival in 2010, we were sent two promo tracks from the album, the title track and first single "Skyfiya" and "Brightest Light", which instantly made a good impression. And now there's finally the band's 13-track debut album "Skyfiya", which fulfills, and even surpasses, our early expectations. The powerful opener "King Rastafari", backed by a wicked bass driven riddim with great horns, nice flute parts and appealing percussion, is an outstanding effort and a great way to start off an album. From there it goes from strength to strength with the uplifting "Blessings", the matching herb tune "Steamers", the excellent "Most Royal" (a tribute to the great African women of the world), the awesome "Who Caan Hear", and the worthy successor to Burning Spear's classic tune of the same name "Marcus Garvey", being the most ear-catching efforts. But also don't overlook tracks like "Skyfiya", "Brightest Light", "Know Yourself", "Positive" and the moving "Brighter Days", because they're also truly worth hearing. Even though the band musically and lyrically upholds the values from the golden era of roots reggae, their musical efforts sound fresh and original all the way.

The Uprising Roots deserves to be heard by any fan of well produced, live played contemporary roots reggae music. So check them out!